Corporate Funding Profile: Follett

HQ: Westchester, IL
Employees: 8,000

Company Overview

Follett is a leading provider of education technology, services and physical and digital content for schools and public libraries across the United States, Canada and beyond. As the United States’ largest operator of college bookstores, Follett works with 80,000 public and private schools and operates more than 1,200 local campus stores, as well as 1,600 virtual stores. Through various subsidiaries, the company sells print and digital textbooks and other audiovisual materials, library management software and other services to schools and libraries in about 120 countries. The company is privately held.

Giving: Follett Community Commitment

Follett’s corporate giving ranges from support for nonprofits serving the local communities where it has operations to major partnerships with international charities working to address global challenges. Much of the company’s giving goes toward education‐related groups and initiatives, including:

Reading Is Fundamental

  • Follett is a leading corporate sponsor of Reading Is Fundamental, which promotes literacy and a love for reading among underprivileged youth. As one of the largest sponsors of RIF in Chicago, Follett underwrites four Chicago Public Schools so they can participate in the program. In addition, the company donates thousands of children’s books to RIF’s Parent Community Organization program, which helps parents promote reading at home.

The Follett Challenge

  • Recognizing that educators must teach the 21st‐century skills students need in order to be prepared for life, the company established the Follett Challenge program to promote and advocate for educators who teach these skills and give them a platform to share innovation with their school communities and the world. Each year, Follett awards $200,000 in products and services to the most innovative programs that develop critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration between students and among educators.
  • Challenge deadline: December 14, 2018

The Thirst Project

  • Follett’s support for this group is grounded in the fact that a lack of access to clean water is a huge obstacle to school attendance for youth in underdeveloped regions. The Thirst Project works to generate and promote access to clean water by engaging students across the United States in spreading awareness and raising the necessary funds to build water wells around the world.
  • Follett’s support of the Thirst Project includes the donation of proceeds from select products, annual sponsorship of the Thirst Gala and continued partnership in sharing Thirst’s mission with the more than five million students served by Follett campus stores.
  • In 2017, Follett expanded its relationship with the Thirst Project to engage students across North America and empower them to make a difference in the world. The company launched the Can You Dig It? Contest, which raised awareness about book donation programs that support the Thirst Project. Follett also ran a sweepstakes in a select group of stores to find two students to go on a volunteer service journey with the Thirst Project. The contest winners joined the Thirst Project on a 10‐day trip to Swaziland, where they helped build and celebrate well projects.

Follett also offers a matching gift program for employee donations to eligible charities and supports the academic pursuits of its employees’ children through a scholarship program administered by the Follett Educational Foundation, a private foundation founded by the Follett family.

Profile updated: Oct 2018